With so many people commuting to work, school, and their daily responsibilities at once, there is bound to be a driver or other party that is negligent and, in turn, causes an accident. Accidents on community roads between vehicles are a common occurrence and, although pedestrian accidents do not happen as frequently, the consequences when they do occur can be severe or deadly for the pedestrian victim. There are many different reasons a pedestrian can become a victim of a traffic accident, and negligence is the most likely culprit in most cases.
Proving Negligence in a Pedestrian Accident Case
Negligence of a motor vehicle driver can take many forms, but there are some instances that are most likely to be the cause when a pedestrian is involved in a collision or crash. In most cases of a pedestrian accident due to negligence, a driver’s behaviors or actions interfere with their awareness of others on the road or their ability to react to a pedestrian that may be present ahead of them. Poor visibility, diminished coordination, slower reaction times, distractions, and obstacles can all contribute to the likelihood that a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle while in or near the roadways.
Examples of main causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Drivers under the influence
- Drivers that are distracted
- Aggressive or reckless drivers
- Speeding drivers
- Hazardous weather
- Poor lighting
- Lack of crosswalks
- Obstacles on a path or sidewalk
Parties Who May Be Liable for Pedestrian Accidents
When a pedestrian is hit by another vehicle, they may be under the impression that the only party they can seek damages or compensation for their losses is from the driver of the vehicle that strikes them. While in many instances and accidents that may be true, there are also others that may be liable to the victim of a pedestrian accident. Pedestrian accidents can have many layers of liability and there may be one or multiple parties to blame for the injuries and damage you sustain.
Potential liability for a pedestrian accident can include:
The Driver of a Vehicle
The most common party at fault when a pedestrian is in an accident is the driver of the vehicle that hits them. Most pedestrian accidents are avoidable and it is commonly the actions or failure to act of a driver that leads to a pedestrian getting hit by the vehicle in an accident.
The Employer of a Driver
If the at-fault driver of a vehicle is working at the time a crash occurs, the company that owns the vehicle or employs them may also be liable to you for your injuries and losses. There are also certain unique arrangements, such as rideshare drivers which may impose liability on a rideshare company even if the driver is not considered a traditional employee.
When you are a pedestrian in an accident there can be various insurance policies available to cover your losses. Discovering what insurers may be liable to you for your damages and the extent of coverage available under a policy can take some time and effort.
The Government or Municipality
Cities and municipalities have responsibilities to maintain roads, paths, and crosswalks for pedestrians to ensure their safety. If a pedestrian becomes a victim of an accident due to failures on the part of the government to maintain or provide safe passage on or near roadways, they may be liable for your losses.
Another External Force
There are instances in which a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle because of the actions of another party that force them onto the road. While in some instances it may be an external force, such as a bicyclist or other pedestrian that pushes them or physically runs them into the road, in other situations it may be an obstacle such as a vehicle or other object that blocks a sidewalk, path, crosswalk or driveway, forcing a pedestrian into the street.
Can a Pedestrian Victim Sue for Their Injuries and Losses After an Accident?
If you are a pedestrian that suffers an injury or other losses due to an accident, the law allows you to pursue compensation from the party at fault for the accident. You may be able to pursue your damages through an insurance claim, but if insurance is not available or not enough to cover your losses, then a lawsuit might be appropriate.
One thing is for certain, after a pedestrian accident due to another’s negligence, you should not have to bear the brunt of the losses yourself. You are already dealing with the injuries from an accident that was not your fault and suffering the consequences of those injuries in your personal life. As a pedestrian victim, you can seek justice and compensation for your medical expenses, income losses, pain and suffering, and other damages from the parties responsible for the accident.
How Can a Lawyer Help If You Were Involved in a Traffic Accident as a Pedestrian?
As a pedestrian, you can face an uphill battle in trying to get the compensation you deserve from the insurance company or the party responsible for the accident. Contacting a pedestrian accident attorney will help you get the support and experience you need to increase your chance of reaching a successful settlement that will take into account the extent of your injuries and your total losses. A pedestrian accident lawyer will help you by meticulously evaluating your case and gathering the evidence and information you will need to prove your damages to an insurer.
The attorney will then work hard to negotiate a settlement that is acceptable to you and accounts for the majority of your losses. Having an attorney represent you relieves you of the stress and responsibility of dealing with insurers and other parties that do not have your best interests in mind and will try to manipulate the outcome of the case for their benefit over yours.
If You Are a Victim in a Pedestrian Accident, Call Pacific West Injury Law
If you find yourself a victim in a pedestrian accident, contact a pedestrian lawyer at Pacific West Injury Law for a free evaluation of your case.